A new data centre in Paris is being built, with investors focusing on the need to embrace digital while upholding commitments to environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.

sustainability and digital transformation

Costing over $160 million USD, this, the French capital’s tenth data centre, will incorporate multiple sustainability best practices including heat recovery technology directly connected to Paris’s Saint-Denis urban heating network.

The International Business Exchange is led by digital infrastructure company, Equinix, and will be situated within PA10, the firm’s Saint-Denis campus in the north of the city, and will provide global and local businesses and partners alike with a direct and secure connection to the world’s digital economy.

Multiple sustainability initiatives are planned for PA10, including a heat recovery technology project to recover energy from customer equipment and transfer it to the urban heating network, and in turn, heat the local community swimming pool.

The rooftop of the new site will be home to a greenhouse of 430 m² in which fruit and vegetables will be grown. A hydroponic system aims to reduce water consumption by using a water recovery system and only irrigating the cultivated areas.

The greenhouse will also utilise the heat recovery technology in place at PA10. The rooftop garden will help retain rainwater and reduce the amount of water directed to the sewer, in addition to reducing waste heat emissions.

Régis Castagné, Managing Director for France at Equinix, said:

“For a long time, the digital revolution has been seen as the cause of change in society. Its importance during the pandemic is an illustration of this: not only did it allow us to continue to work, learn, or be entertained, but it was also essential for economic recovery.

“We’re working to support this shift, spearheading innovations to address the environmental impact of digital, Castagné added.

“Indeed, it has become a societal issue that requires, among other things, increased dialogue between industry and local authorities to hasten progress in this area,” Castagné continued.

The development of PA10 is part of an ongoing commitment to the French market, further supporting the growth of the local digital economy and digital transformation strategies. The latest Global Interconnection Index (GXI Vol. 5), an annual market study published by Equinix, reveals the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the French economy into digital overdrive, with digital leaders moving four times faster than pre-pandemic levels.

The GXI predicts this digital acceleration will continue to fuel growth in interconnection bandwidth, and Paris is shown to be the fastest growing core metro in Europe and an important ecosystem for the transport, energy and utilities sectors.

Supporting this, and at an initial build cost of US$163M, PA10 adds to a total investment from Equinix in France’s digital infrastructure of over US$1B to date.

Charles Meyers, CEO at Equinix, said:

“In support of the Choose France initiative, today’s investment and expansion serves to bolster the country’s digital infrastructure capabilities, providing local and multi-national corporations with a foundational source of differentiation and the global platform needed to thrive in today’s digital economy.

“[We are] connecting digital leaders, enabling them to simplify operations, improve customer experience and accelerate the launch of new products and services,” Meyers added.